Americans have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend — and many American doctors are giving back. In America, whatever its current troubles, bombs are not being detonated on a regular basis in its cities. In Syria, bombing is a common occurrence in Aleppo and other cities and aerial attacks are targeting medical facilities. There aren’t nearly enough medical personnel to treat the victims of the Syrian civil war that is now in its sixth year. That’s why altruistic American doctors including Dr. Samer Attar, an orthopedic surgeon at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, are working as volunteers and members of the non-profit organization Syrian-American Medical Society. — where you can donate online.
While more than 800 medical staffers have died in attacks on Syrian hospitals and medical facilities — attacks which are considered war crimes — the Syrian-American Medical Society has raised close to $100 million in aid and has sent more than 100 doctors to Aleppo. Dr. Attar tells Scott Pelley about his experience in Syria: “We’d find ourselves doing surgeries, sometimes without anesthesia, on people lying on gurneys in the hallway, because you’re just so over-stretched.” In July 2016, Attar wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Post titled, A doctor’s plea to President Obama: Please act to save civilians in Syria. 60 Minutes airs Sundays at 7:30pm on CBS.